Disney wins approval to acquire Fox assets

28 June, 2018, 04:40 | Author: Donna Miller
  • Disney Fox

That could lead to higher cable bills for viewers. Disney is reportedly on-board with the proposal, as it would enable the company to resolve this issue faster than if it continued to fight the DOJ lawsuit.

Disney must sell off Fox's 22 regional sports channels, the DOJ ruled, to settle concerns over the creation of a cable sports monopoly.

With those divestitures, the deal would have meant higher prices for these distributors, the agency said.

The Justice Department said that without the divestitures, "the proposed acquisition would eliminate the substantial head-to-head competition that now exists between Disney and Fox and would likely result in higher prices for cable sports programming".

Technically, the DOJ filed a court complaint to block the Disney/Fox merger today. That's a small sacrifice, though, considering everything Disney would get in the acquisition.

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Disney's latest cash and stock offer of $38 a share, or $71.3 billion, is considered the leading bid, Fox has said. In May, the company announced that they were in the "advanced stages" of preparing an offer to top Disney's Fox bid.

In one scenario reported by WSJ-one Comcast is reportedly exploring-an investment partner would acquire the U.S. Fox assets, while Comcast would assume global components like the U.K.'s Sky and India's Star.

When Comcast made its bid for Fox, Comcast chief executive officer Brian Roberts said in a letter to Murdoch and his sons that he is "highly confident" that Comcast will "obtain all necessary regulatory approvals in a timely manner and that our transaction is as or more likely to receive regulatory approval than the Disney transaction".

Together, Fox's regional sports networks have about 61 million subscribers and have rights to broadcast live games of 44 of 91 USA professional sports teams in three of the four major sports leagues. The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms. Fox gained 2.8 per cent, while Comcast was down as much as 1.5 per cent. Murdoch has sought full control of Sky but has faced opposition from regulators in Britain.

Royals games may be shown on a network other than Fox Sports Kansas City next season.

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